When it comes to the study of literature, reading and writing are closely inter-related—even mutually dependent—activities. On the one hand, the quality of whatever we write about a literary text depends entirely upon the quality of our work as readers. On the other hand, our reading isn’t truly complete until we’ve tried to capture our sense of a text in writing. Indeed, we often read a literary work much more actively and attentively when we integrate informal writing into the reading process—pausing periodically to mark especially important or confusing passages, to jot down significant facts, to describe the impressions and responses the text provokes—or when we imagine our reading (and our informal writing) as preparation for writing about the work in a more sustained and formal way.